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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Obituaries: November 12, 2021

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Sharon Joan Phillips

Sharon Joan Phillips, surrounded by her family, passed away from cancer at her home in Hibbing on November 7, 2021. She was the light of her family’s life. Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 12:00PM at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Hibbing, MN. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. To leave an online condolence visit www.mlakerfuneralhome.com

Sharon was born in Hibbing on March 12, 1954 to Lester and Lois Plante. She was the third youngest of seven brothers and sisters. Her father was killed in a mining accident when she was 7 years old. Her mother Lois, later remarried Thomas Paull joining two families adding three step-siblings. Upon graduation from Hibbing High School, in 1972, Sharon moved to the Twin Cities for a short time. She worked for 3M and the DNR before deciding to return to Hibbing, which undoubtedly broke many hearts in Minneapolis.

After marrying Tim Rasch in 1975, Sharon stayed home and raised her boys. Wade and Troy could not imagine a more loving and caring role model to guide them through life. It was during her boy’s early years that she developed a love for fishing, which lasted her entire life. Oftentimes, she would go fishing on the Littlefork River during the day and race back to be home when the kids got off the bus. Sharon was a part time aerobics instructor while the boys were young and returned to the workforce full time for Fena Advertising in 1986.  “Full time” is a term used generously here...because Sharon was not a morning person. Still, she poured so much of herself into her work. Sales calls with Sharon would oftentimes turn into visits where many customers became dear friends. She remained selling for Fena Advertising until she retired in July of 2018. This meant virtually an entire lifetime supply of pens, pencils and other advertising specialties with the Fena Advertising logo.

In 1992 Sharon married Jay Phillips. They would have celebrated their 30th anniversary next year. Never far from her side, Jay skillfully navigated the waters of a blended family and has provided Sharon, the boys, and grandkids a lifetime of love and affection. Retirement from the workforce provided more free time, which led to new hobbies. Sharon approached each of her passions with the same zeal and dedication she had for her family and friends. From fishing, dollhouses, sewing, knitting, and creating - she never slowed down.

After discovering her love for miniatures, she created elaborate dollhouses for all her grandchildren and even a miniature cabin for Jay. Each one of these labors of love required hundreds of hours, and contained countless one-of-a-kind creations. Of all her many creations, Sharon was definitely the proudest of her family. Sharon was a cherished light that her family depended on so heavily and she viewed that dependency as a blessing not a burden. She lived a selfless life of generosity and kindness and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.

She was preceded in death by her mother Lois Paull; father Lester Plante; stepfather Thomas Paull; brothers: Wayne and Gary Plante; stepbrother Tom Paull; and mother and father-in-law Eleanor and Raymond Phillips.

She is survived by her devoted husband of 29 years, Jay Phillips; sons: Wade (Lori) Rasch and Troy (Mary) Rasch; grandchildren: Laura, Connor, and Michael and Natalie Rasch; step-grandchildren: Ella and Erin Greenwalt; sisters: Linda (Tom) Taylor, Marilyn Cerar, Elaine Sweeney, Bobbie and Jo Ann Paull; brother Ron Plante; and brother-in-law Lee (Lynne) Phillips. A

Theano M. Sigford
Theano “Theo” Mae Demas Sigford, 91, of Tower-Soudan, died on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in the Cook Care Center in Cook. By her preference, there will be no service, but a gathering of family and Tower-Soudan friends will be scheduled in the summer of 2022 when remote relatives are able to travel to Northern Minnesota. Donations in memorial are encouraged to organizations she has supported over many years: Minnesota Public Radio of St. Paul, Advocates for Family Peace of Grand Rapids, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy of St. Paul, The Mesabi Humane Society of Virginia, or Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, of St. Paul.
Theo was born on Jan. 8, 1930, in Aberdeen, S.D., the first child of Anthony “Tony” Demas and Emma (Potter) Demas. Theo graduated early from high school in Aberdeen, in 1947, then left college early and moved to Minneapolis in 1950 where she became a legal secretary and, ultimately, the support staff/office manager for a major international law firm in the Twin Cities. She retired and married Robert “Bob” Sigford in 1977. For many years they enjoyed their cabin on Lake Vermilion, scheduling their lives to be on the lake three days a week, year-round, as long as they could cross either by boat or snowmobile. In 1985 they retired fully to a home on Lake Vermilion in the Tower-Soudan area. Bob passed away in 2005 and Theo lived out her life on the lake and in the community that she had come to call her home.
 Theo was a voracious reader and both supported and made constant use of the Arrowhead Library System’s Bookmobile, sang in local choral groups, volunteered as a tax preparer, volunteered for the Tower Soudan Historical Society and supported the restoration of the Fire Hall on Tower’s Main Street. She volunteered for the Tower Food Shelf, volunteered reading to school children, hand-knitted a mountain of colorful wool socks, played organized bridge with friends, and even occasionally went line dancing. 
 Theo was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bob; and three younger siblings, George Demas, Marian Demas and Tyrus Demas.
She is survived by her nephew, Dodd Demas; niece, Lisa (Demas) Jones; niece, Kristin Sigford; nephews, Rolf Sigford and Steven Sigford; niece, Ann Sigford; and nephews, Dale Sigford and David Sigford.
 
Vyonne D. Rozier
Vyonne Darlene Stiegelmeyer Rozier, 86, of Babbitt, passed away on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, at Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27 at Woodland Presbyterian Church in Babbitt. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Inurnment will be in Argo Cemetery in Babbitt. Arrangements are with Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.
She is survived by her four children, Greg Rozier, Mike (Barb) Rozier, Mark (Mary) Rozier and Laurie (Ken) Rozier Stoll; grandchildren, Kyle, Brett, Logan, Lorenzo, Fr. Blake, Alex, Kevin and Tracy; and numerous nieces and nephews.
 
Doris M. Johnson
Doris Mae Marie Johnson, 85 of Cook, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14 at Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 15 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Cook. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Doris E. Nelson
Doris E. Bernath Nelson, 85, of Ely, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, at Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely. A celebration of life will be at Grand Ely Lodge from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13.
She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Doyle; children, Loren (Pauline), Mark (Gwen), Marie (Tim Sladek) and Chris; four grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Dennis L. Minier
Dennis L. Minier, 62, of Ely, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, at Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

Julia Puzel
Julia Puzel, 100, of Ely, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, at Carefree Assisted Living in Ely. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

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